Commissioners' Engineering Scholarship Program

About the Scholarship

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) offers annual scholarships to college students majoring in engineering fields that are vital to the work of WSSC. Named in honor of former Commissioners Joyce Starks and Gene W. Counihan – the goal of the Commissioners’ Engineering Scholarship Program is to provide financial assistance to students from WSSC’s service district in furtherance of their engineering studies and to encourage applicants/winners to consider careers in the water, wastewater/water resource recovery industry; and preferably, at WSSC.

Up to two new scholarships in the amount of $1000 each may be awarded; one to a Prince George's County resident and one to a Montgomery County resident. Winners are eligible for additional awards of $1000 each year for up to four consecutive years as long as residency and grade point average (GPA) requirements are met. Winners also receive priority consideration for paid summer internship opportunities at WSSC.


To qualify, students must:
  • provide proof of permanent residency in WSSC’s service district;
  • be enrolled full-time in a degree program at an accredited college or university that leads to an engineering degree in one of the following areas: Civil Engineering (i.e., Environmental, Sanitary, Structural, Geotechnical, Water Resources, Fire Protection, Transportation, Project Management, Construction Management); Electrical Engineering; Material Science and Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science/Engineering. High school seniors who have been accepted into such a program are eligible; proof of acceptance/enrollment must accompany application materials; and,
  • complete an application and have it received by the WSSC Corporate Secretary by Monday, June 3, 2019.

2019 Application Process

Students are required to submit a written essay (see topic below), along with the following application materials:
  1. Video Introduction/Infomercial.  Tell us, who you are; why you’re the best candidate for the scholarship; and, why tap is better than bottled.  Video should be no longer than five minutes;
  2. Official Transcript;
  3. Proof of Permanent Residency in WSSC Service District. Acceptable forms of documentation:  Copy of driver’s license, voter registration card or other government-issued ID, reflecting your permanent residency in either Prince George’s or Montgomery County, Maryland; and,
  4. Two Reference Letters.

2019 Essay Topic:

“As the largest water utility in Maryland, and one of the largest in the country, WSSC is proud to produce and deliver safe, clean and reliable tap water to our 1.8 million customers daily.  We are passionate about our water and even prouder of our superior track record in delivering this excellent product to our bi-County residents for the past 100 years.  In 1,500 words or less, tell us why tap water is better than bottled water.  Please be sure to address all relevant factors and scenarios in making your case.”

Submission Deadline: Monday, June 3, 2019.

Click here to apply online.  You may also submit your application package by U.S. mail to: Sheila R. Finlayson, Esq., Corporate Secretary, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, 14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, MD 20707. Mailed applications must be postmarked by Monday, June 3, 2019.  For mailed applications:  please submit video on flash drive.


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